The Geological Carbon Sequestration (GCS) Program uses theory along with lab, field, and simulation approaches to investigate processes needed to inform and guide the safe and effective implementation of geologic carbon sequestration. Through numerous collaborations with organizations leading field projects, the program takes advantage of the unparalleled expertise within EESA.
Key topics of investigation include:
- Capacity, trapping mechanisms, and permanence;
- Monitoring and verification using remote geophysical (e.g., seismic) and direct surface detection methods;
- Enhanced hydrocarbon recovery options;
- Leakage and seepage;
- Impacts on the environment, including groundwater, induced seismicity, and the near-surface;
- Risk-based assessment and certification;
- Injection field studies, including fluid sampling at in situ conditions and seismic monitoring; and
- Performance prediction (TOUGH suite of codes as a tool).
Support for GCS research comes primarily from DOE-Fossil Energy, with additional support from the Carbon Capture Project (an industry consortium), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, and various other governmental and industrial sources. The largest research projects in the Geological Sequestration Program include: GEO-SEQ (part of our Consolidated Sequestration Research Project) for research in support of international demonstration projects occurring in the Otway Basin, Australia, and Ketzin, Germany; and NRAP (National Risk Assessment Partnership); as well as support to collaborators in Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, including SECARB, BigSky, MGSC, and WESTCARB.